Problem Solving Essay on Engineering and the Built Environment

Paper Type:  Problem solving
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1022 Words
Date:  2022-06-15


The first solution that had to be considered is the establishment of the new port, located 350KM South of the existing port. Building a state of the art port ensure that Eigenvalue Coal Company will be capable of meeting the forecasted coal demands. The construction of the rail network and the new port will cost approximately $220,000. The project will take at least three year to be completed. However, the project cannot go on without the approval of the government. In this regard, Eigenvalue Coal Company will have to wait for the government agencies to approve the construction of the port facility and the rail network. The government has prioritized minimising of the environmental impact in both onshore and offshore environment. For this reason, it is expected that the projected could be only approved, if the government authorities are certain that the project will not harm the environment.

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The second solution is creating a dredge the existing shipping lane. The current port has aged, considering it has been in operation for over four decades. Technology has changed over the years and this means that powerful machines have been developed. However, the port shipping lane was designed for smaller vessels. The existing shipping lane has a shallow depth, which limits its carrying capacity. Therefore, the move to further dredge the existing lane will provide an opportunity for increased loading capacity from 12,000 tonnes to 18,000 tonnes. Besides, the use of a deeper shipping lane allows ships to travel at a greater speed, as they enter and exit the port. The focus of the project will be on the modelling of the ship entry, which will make it possible for at least 32 ships to be loaded with a capacity of 18,000 tonnes per season. The project is desirable because of the low environment risks of dredging the current shipping lanes. It is estimated that it cost approximately $16,000,000 for the dredge expansion operations to be completed. The project will take six months to complete.

The third solution is the extension of the storage stockpile. In the port, the stockpile is the buffer between ships and trains. The presence of the storage stockpile reduces the wait time for trains to arrive and unload. The analysis revealed a shortfall of 16,000 tonnes between the maximum seasonal forecast and the maximum rail capacity. It is important for Eigenvalue Coal Company to adhere to the government licencing policies, which requires the corporation to carry out an environmental risk assessment. The risk assessment is focused on management of coal in the stockpile before the start of the operating season (Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1991). There is a need to ensure that the residual risk is minimised, considering the harmful nature of coal to the environment (Jonassen, 1997). The construction of the stockpile will take one year to complete and it will cost approximately $4,500,000.

Risk Analysis

The construction of the rail network and the new port in the South is likely to increase the load capacity. However, the fact that the project has to be approved by the government is challenging. The corporation will require patience, as the government authorities deliberate on the solution. It is possible that a lot of time is going to be wasted, as the debate on the appropriateness of the port takes place. Besides, completion of the project is going to take three years. Based on the existing forecast projections, the company will have already lost a big deal, before the project runs to completion. Therefore, it will be huge losses for the company, during the three years construction. The risk is too big for the company to consider, considering what it will lose during the construction time (Smith et al. 2009).

The creation of a dredge to the existing lane appears to be a viable solution. The corporation is commitment to creating a transport system with an increased capacity. Indeed, it is an ideal way that the company could take advantage of the existing technology, to expand the shipping capacity using the railway transport. However, construction of the dredges is likely to disrupt the normal railway transportation. In this regard, when the project starts, it would mean seeking of alternative transport. In addition, there is a need to invest in bigger vessel, increasing the overall expenditure. Nonetheless, considering construction of the dredges does not pose harm to the environment, it is a worthy risk, even though it would be expensive in comparison to the other options (Jonassen, 1997). In addition, it only takes six months for the project to be over, which is not a long time, considering what the corporation is set to gain from a bigger dredge.

The extension of the stockpile has proven to be another solution. However, the company has an obligation of meeting the licencing policies. In this sense, such projects tend to take time for approval because the authorities have to conduct their assessment to establish if the standards are met. Besides, investing $4,500,000 in a project that is likely to take over a year for completion may not be a suitable solution.


Considering the value for money, time of construction, the increased capacity, and all the procedure involved in creating a solution that meets the forecast demand, creating a dredge the existing shipping lane is the viable option that the corporation could take. The construction dredge the existing shipping lane will be complete in six months, which means that it will not disrupt business activities for a long time. Even though it is expensive to invest $16,000,000, it is likely that the business will make benefit because of the increased capacity to transfer the coal. Therefore, the business should be willing to invest $16,000,000, given the prospects of the market and the need to meet coal demand forecast, which places the business at a better position in the future.


Smith, N. J., Merna, T., & Jobling, P. (2009). Managing risk: in construction projects. John Wiley & Sons.

Funtowicz, S. O., & Ravetz, J. R. (1991). A new scientific methodology for global environmental issues. Ecological economics: The science and management of sustainability, 10, 137.

Jonassen, D. H. (1997). Instructional design models for well-structured and III-structured problem-solving learning outcomes. Educational technology research and development, 45(1), 65-94.

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